Biodiversity discovered in….Staten Island?

Photo: Brian Curry

After writing about the Tree Lobsters found on a cliff face on a remote uninhabited (by people, at least) rock jutting out of the sea, I found it a nice contrast to read about a new species of Leopard Frog found on Staten Island near New York City! It was found when a PhD Candidate, like myself, was out listening for another species of Leopard frog and heard a croak of a different tune. Although the new Leopard Frog looks a lot like its neighbors, genetic testing has shown that it is clearly a distinct species.

The researchers  Newman and Feinberg et al. have since determined that the Leopard Frog has a small range, within commuting distance of New York City, into New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Thus, it is an urban frog that was right under the noses of an unsuspecting population. I love this. I love this because it shows how even highly urban areas can contain habitat. With increased protection of ecosystems around urban areas, such as the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (another place this frog was found, just 26 miles from Times Square) we can maintain the biodiversity we depend upon.

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About tcornelisse

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